Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of various predatory insects of the family Mantidae, primarily tropical but including a few Temperate Zone species, usually pale green and having two pairs of walking legs and powerful grasping forelimbs. The mantis feeds on live insects, including others of its own kind. Also called mantid.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any of various large insects of the order Mantodea that catch insects or other small animals with their powerful forelegs.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Any one of numerous species of voracious orthopterous insects of the genus Mantis, and allied genera. They are predacious long-bodied large-eyed insects of warm regions, are remarkable for their slender grotesque forms, and for holding their stout anterior legs in a manner suggesting hands folded in prayer. The common American species is Mantis Carolina.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The typical genus of Mantidæ, formerly the same as the family, now much restricted. They are natives chiefly of tropical regions, but some species are common in temperate latitudes.
  • n. [lowercase; pl. mantes (-tēz).] Any species of the family Mantidæ; a rear-horse.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. predacious long-bodied large-eyed insect of warm regions; rests with forelimbs raised as in prayer

Etymologies

Greek, seer.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
New Latin, from Ancient Greek μάντις (mantis, "soothsayer") (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The praying mantis is the only insect that can turn its head 360 degrees.

    21 Amazing Facts About Nintendo

  • The hummer measured 2 inches and the mantis was about the same!

    Boing Boing

  • The mantis is a fresh hatchling, tiny and delicate as an ant.

    The Song of The Dodo

  • And mantis shrimp are called mantis shrimp after the praying mantises, which also have a fast feeding appendage.

    Sheila Patek clocks the fastest animals

  • So, actually, I started working on what's called the mantis shrimp a few years ago because they make sound.

    Sheila Patek clocks the fastest animals

  • Lately three or four species of what are known as mantis-shrimps have been found and sent to one or other of the museums.

    Last Leaves from Dunk Island

  • The mantis was the mouthpiece, the prophetes, the interpreter of the oracle (so already Plato, "Tim", lxxii, B). chresterion: chrao, "furnish what is needful"; hence

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 11: New Mexico-Philip

  • I found out that "mantis" apparently is Greek for "prophet" so I actually like the "religious prophet" as a handle.

    Think Progress

  • Furthermore, many other organisms, such as mantis shrimp (which have many times the visual acuity of vertebrates) have eyes which are arguably superior to ours.

    Conservapedia - Recent changes [en]

  • Born the eighth of twelve siblings on August 11, 1967, Collin Chou trained in various styles of martial arts from four different masters in primarily animal styles such as mantis and tiger claw.

    Kung Fu Cinema

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.